Animated film ‘Loving Vincent’ boasts 65,000 hand-painted frames by 123 artists

The art form of visual arts are different from the art forms of the cinema arts. Painting is one particular moment in time, frozen. In the cinema, the images are fluid, seeming to move through space and time. Hence, prior to and during the live action shoot the Painting Design team spent one-year re-imagining Vincent van Gogh’s paintings into the medium of film. There are 94 van Gogh’s paintings that feature in a form very close to the original, and there are a further 31 paintings that are either feature substantially or partially.

Van Gogh’s paintings come in different shapes and sizes, so the design painters had to work out how to best show these paintings within the frame set by the cinema screen. This required breaking outside the frames of the artist’s paintings, while still retaining the feel and inspiration of the his originals. They also had to work out how to deal with ‘invasions’, where a character painted in one style, come into another van Gogh’s painting with a different style. Moreover, for the purpose of the story, sometimes change daytime paintings into night time paintings, or paintings which were done in Autumn or Winter, had to be re-imagined for summer when the journey of the film takes place.

The Character Design Painters specialized in re-imagining our actors as their famous portraits, so that they would retain their own features and at the same time recognizably take on the look and feeling of their character in painting form. There were 377 painting painted during the Design Painting process.

The painting animators then use the reference footage, and paint over this with reference to the style (brushstrokes, colors, impasto) set by the Design Paintings to paint the first frame of their shot on canvas, sized 67 cm by 49 cm. Then they animate the shot by re-painting, matching the brushstrokes, color and impasto of their previous frame, for all parts of the shot that are moving. At the end, they are left with a painting of the last frame of the shot. Each frame is recorder with a Canon D20 digital stills camera at 6k resolution.

The Painting Animators work in the Painting Animation Work Stations (PAWS) designed by Break Thru Films over the course of 2 years during the development of the project. PAWS allow the painter to focus as much attention as possible on painting and animating without being concerned about the lighting and technology, and allow for consistence across resolution photographs of 12 frames of painting make up each second of the film. After the photographing of the frames of painting there is simply some flicker correction to balance between shots. As a result, what the audience will be seeing is 65,000 high resolution photographs of actual oil-paintings.

Immerse yourself in the magic of Loving Vincent, now showing across Philippine cinemas exclusively distributed by Solar Pictures.

Director talks taking on the challenge of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Philippines is now on its second week in screening Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok and director Taika Waititi is thrilled to share his vision.

Fans have been waiting for Ragnarok and Waititi is ready to show it to them, “A lot of people are excited by the idea of what Ragnarok means. But to me it means the stripping down of the establishment of what’s already there, and then building it up in a new way.”

“I said this before, if the movie’s called Thor, then Thor should be the best character,” said Waititi. Expanding his thoughts on the God of Thunder, “My main focus was making him cool, and funny when he needs to be, heroic when he needs to be.”

Thor’s changed and it turns out he’s picked up a sense of humor from an old friend, “Thor spent two years hanging out with [Tony Stark]. So, he knows a little bit more about irony and sarcasm now. He’s got a little bit of Earth humor. He’s like a rich kid from outer space who’s spent some time slumming it for a bit, you know? So he’s instantly become a bit more interesting but he’s still in different parts of the Cosmos, and still learning as he goes.”

For Waititi, Thor’s personality was similar to that of well-known 1980’s protagonist, “In my mind, I had imagined Thor being a bit like Jack Burton,” said Waititi. The similarities between Big Trouble in Little China’s lead played by Kurt Russell feels like a leap, but Waititi explains, “He’s a great hero who’s making his way through the adventure.”

As far as Thor’s foe, Cate Blanchett’s Hela is a worthy opponent. “Cate is the first female villain, and for me, the most interesting villain because she is multidimensional. She’s layered. She’s troubled. She’s really funny. So I think it’s gonna be really satisfying to people.” Waititi explains Hela’s prowess, “Her character has amazing powers, she wears the cowl, she has the antlers, and she looks amazing in the concept art and stuff. Thor in the films has never fought anyone tougher than this lady.”

Similar to his previous films, Waititi wants to strike a balance between comedy and drama, “That’s always been my focus with this whole thing, to make it really entertaining, and poignant, and profound when it needs to be, but and also adventurous and funny.”

“We’ll improvise some stuff. I’ll be next to actors and yell suggestions at them all the time, and just coming from that place where I’m with my friends I’m used to doing that—yelling at each other for outtakes—it’s a bit messy.”

Waititi’s so called messiness leads to a cohesive film thanks to creative editing, “But I think, from that messiness comes really great kinda spur of the moment stuff. The balance is always found for me on the editing. So with most takes, I would do stuff that’s way over the top, and then bring it down, and get something exactly what’s on the page, and then something that’s a nice sort of middle balance where the tone is a little bit more natural.”

“This film is so crazy, so eclectic,” Waititi enthused. “There’s so many amazing characters, like a new style of Banner that we’ve never seen before; Hela, Loki’s in there, obviously, then Grand Master. It really is the craziest of the Marvel films. In a good way.”

In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

Thor: Ragnarok is distributed by the Walt Disney Company (Philippines).